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Acrisure Re is a successful reinsurance intermediary. They fill a crucial role in connecting insurance companies with reinsurance companies in order to cover their line of coverage. They provide guidance, maintenance and resolution of issues as they occur.
Assistant Vice President Of IT Mark Benedek can’t handle all of Acrisure Re’s IT on his own.
While Acrisure Re currently has more than 250 employees, relying on a vast and complex IT infrastructure, they weren’t always that big. Early in their time as a business, Acrisure Re’s IT could be handled by just one person: Mark.
As Acrisure Re grew, however, Mark was wise enough to recognize when he couldn’t effectively handle all of their IT on his own. While other IT managers will often try (and fail) to be a one-man army, Mark knew he needed to call in backup.
“I was a one-man shop, and I brought Sysoft in to help with projects, day to day stuff, queries that I had,” says Mark. “It’s grown and evolved from there.”
On an ongoing basis, Sysoft provides support as Mark needs it, and expert guidance for any projects and upgrades that Acrisure Re needs to undertake. When Mark needs a recommendation or second opinion, he knows he can trust Sysoft to deliver.
“You touch base every few months,” says Mark. “Say, our antivirus is a problem, so you ask what one they would recommend. Ever since coming in and building that relationship, they’ve become one of our approved vendors. We go out to a handful of vendors to get quotes or information that we need as a firm.”
Our arrangement with Mark allows him to take advantage of the expertise and skill offered by our IT specialists when needed, and without paying expensive salaries or benefits. It’s an affordable solution that allows them to expand their current IT resources and make sure they always have the tech support they need. Mark can also rest easy knowing Sysoft isn’t trying to replace him.
“They never pitched it as ‘Hey, get rid of Mark, we’ll do everything’,” says Mark. “Sysoft would always work with you for what you were trying to do. Any projects that were on, any of that sort of stuff, they work with you to get the tools or process or software you need to get your job done.”
In our time as Acrisure Re’s IT partner, we’ve helped them find, evaluate and implement a number of new IT solutions. Whatever they needed, Mark knew he could come to us and ask for expert advice.
For example, when they wanted to implement a two-factor authentication solution, they started by finding out what we offer. They needed to make sure that when their users logged into the server or other cloud-based platforms, that they were doing so securely.
“This is the problem we were trying to solve: logging into the server,” says Mark. “We had looked at multiple solutions and vendors at logging into servers, and Sysoft came up with a good plan, how it would work, and away we went. They basically scoped out what we needed, and gave us a solution that works to this day.”
We also helped Mark with Acrisure Re’s migration to Microsoft 365. This type of migration is a big process, and if it’s not handled correctly, it can be error-prone and overly expensive.
“One of the projects we had was Microsoft 365,” says Mark. “When we rolled that out a few years ago, my boss really wanted to pay on a monthly basis, but get the yearly discount. Now, we could have gone straight to Microsoft to manage that, but nobody had the time for it.”
The solution? Mark asked Sysoft for our expert opinion, and we showed him how we could manage all of their Microsoft 365 licenses for them.
“So we signed up with Sysoft to get our licenses,” says Mark. “We just email them, we get a pretty little invoice every month, and that’s one of the projects we’ve used Sysoft for.”
Another priority for Acrisure Re was to make sure the Microsoft 365 migration process happened methodically, moving only a small group of users over at a time, so it didn’t affect their entire staff or systems. They weren’t sure if this was an option, so they asked the Sysoft team.
“When we migrated to Microsoft 365, one of our concerns was, ‘is it an all or nothing thing, or could it be piecemeal’,” says Mark. “When we spoke to Sysoft, that’s one of the things they did, they went above and beyond.”
We showed Mark how you can export the whole user list for Acrisure Re, designate them into different groups, and then schedule accounts for when they should migrate. This allowed him to specifically layout the migration schedule for Acrisure Re’s hundreds of employees.
“This was fantastic from our point of view,” says Mark. “We had our list of users, we set them up on a schedule of when they would move, and then we hit go and it was done within three months. I had never seen that, and they showed that, and it was just fantastic.”